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Last week, we chatted with Mark Harless (better known as Bleeblu) about his journey into becoming a successful photographer and entrepreneur (read the post here). We found him so interesting and amazing, we couldn’t just stop there.

With over 208 THOUSAND followers, Bleeblu is a great example of an entrepreneur who used Instagram to propel his business and art into the public eye. After a few consistent years on the platform, Bleeblu has found success on Instagram, driving more followers and fans every day. We would call him a true social media savant.

Because social media is such an important (but sometimes fleeting) tool for budding entrepreneurs, we thought it would be helpful to learn more about how he became so successful and loved on the social platform. Check out how Bleeblu has become a true Instagram sensation:

hot girl with glasses photo for an article about using success on instagram to grow your business

Can you tell us about how you got success on Instagram?

When I started photography in December of 2011, Flickr was the popular social media platform for sharing photos. I used Instagram on the side and completely for fun. I remember deleting it twice because it just didn’t appeal to me at the time.

Once several of my friends started signing up I thought I’d give it another try and actually post my photography on there. It wasn’t until 2015 when my work really started picking up. I gained over 85,000 followers that year!

What do you post?

Mostly portraits of women. It’s good to hone in on a niche and stick with it. Every several weeks you’ll see a photo of my roommate’s cats, landscapes or even pictures of me just to mix things up. I like the idea of weeding out the soft followers >:)

How often do you post?

I try to post once in the morning and once at night. With Instagram’s new feed update, it doesn’t really matter when you post. I’ve tested out posting photos at 3 o’clock in the morning with the same engagement as all my other photos.

Image of a cave for an article about using Instagram for small business advertising

Do you use Hashtags? What are your favorite ones to use for gaining followers?

Nope. I used to, though. I think I’ve been red-flagged by Instagram because my hashtagged photos never reach the “top posts” section no matter how many likes or comments they receive.

What content do you think converts best?

It’s different for every user. If you post landscape photography, people will follow you to see your landscape photos. If you were to ever to post a different type of photo than you usually do you’ll see less engagement.

Do you find that most of your sales come from success on Instagram, or do you have another source?

Yes, but that’s because I have such a large following on Instagram. My highest conversion rates are, surprisingly, through my email.

Mark Harless found success on Instagram with selz ecommerce

What advice do you have for someone just getting started on Instagram?

Keep at it. Getting to 10,000 followers takes the longest. Going from 10,000 to 20,000 is always the fastest. From there everything is in between. Just post great content daily!

About the author

Kristen DeCosta

Kristen DeCosta is a growth marketer and content marketing specialist turning casual browsers into loyal customers.

When she isn’t busy working, you can find Kristen out hiking a mountain or snuggling with her three rescue dogs, Cooper, Tobi, and Finn.


  1. Andre'y Johnson

    Thank you for the info, been using Instagram sparingly. Right now I’m fine tuning some stuff before I do a hard launch.

    1. Kristen DeCosta

      Hi Andre’y! I am so glad you found this article helpful. You should definitely check out our Instagram marketing series we are running right now on the blog! I am walking through every step of launching your Instagram marketing strategy, and it sounds like it could really help you! Let us know if there is anything in particular you want me to cover in the rest of the series!

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